GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Alachua County middle school, high school and college students are invited to get creative and turn “waste” into creative works of art in the 20th annual “Trashformations” art competition.

Florida Museum artisan Jeff Huber judges artwork submitted in a previous “Trashformations” competition. ©Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

The Florida Museum of Natural History will host an award ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 30 and display the winning entries through Dec. 10.

“We are really pleased that this event has continued for 20 years and hope it will continue much longer,” said Shelley Samec, waste alternatives specialist for the Alachua County office of solid waste & resource recovery. “We are all constantly amazed with the creative ideas the students come up with each year.”

At least 70 percent of each work must be made from recycled materials, and applicants must submit their piece by 5 p.m. on Nov. 23. To enter, visit

“Waste is a worldwide environmental issue,” said Tiffany Ireland, a Florida Museum educator and awards ceremony coordinator. “ ‘Trashformations’ brings focus to our community’s waste issues and this event is one the Florida Museum is proud to support in conjunction with Alachua County. We receive about 200 art pieces each year.”

The Florida Museum hosts the awards ceremony in collaboration with the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and office of solid waste & resource recovery. Judging is based on creative expression and the innovative use of recycled materials and is conducted by teachers, art professors, museum curators, art appraisers and gallery owners.

The top three finishers in each age category will win cash prizes of $400, $300 and $200. A “Waste Watcher” and “Museum” award also will be presented in each category.

For more information on the awards ceremony, visit, or call 352-273-2061.

For more information on the competition, visit, or call 352-548-1297.


Writer: Kelly Hayes, 352-273-2032,
Sources: Tiffany Ireland, 352-273-2061,; Shelley Samec, 352-548-1297
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,